Flight of fancy

Eero Aarnio

Garden Lighting has a tendency to be either dim but pretty (fairylights) or unromantically practical (blinding searchlights triggered by burglar sensors). But what if it could be pretty and practical, with a bit of conversation-starting whimsy thrown in for good measure?
These sculpted plastic birds fit the bill. By day the oddly beautiful (or beautifully odd) creatures perform the useful role of garden seating (they stand half a metre tall and are robust enough to bear an adult’s weight), but it’s at night that they come into their own, glowing through the foliage with an almost unearthly loveliness. The Paloma (above) has a smaller sibling called Pulcino, and both can be anchored to the ground or happily float on your garden pond. They come in a multitude of different colours too.
The designer behind the concept is Eero Aarnio, the legendary Finn who made his name in the 1960s with such iconic pieces as the Ball chair and the Bubble chair. He has continued to produce colourful, clean designs ever since, including several based on animal shapes, such as the famous Puppy seat and Peacock plant holder.
Serralunga, the Italian firm for whom Aarnio designed Paloma, calls the lights “fragments of reality, metaphysical objects and surreal elements”, but we prefer to think of them simply as a clever and practical way of encouraging us to have a whole lot more garden parties after dark.

You can find more art & design articles in Homes and Interiors Scotland magazine.

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Words Judy Diamond